When we were blessed with this priest's presentation, he took the opportunity to share a slice of his life, and how he had recently presided over the funeral of a famous actor from Connecticut. It was a community of rich and famous individuals, whom he wasn't enamored with. His honesty was so refreshingly human, to hear a priest quote movie dialogue, when speaking of the Connecticut community.
Quoting from another film, he spoke of his new parish family: "They're rich, and they're mean." Where did I hear that one? Ah, yes – Dirty Dancing. Hmm, this priest not only watches films, he does so to connect with the characters, and to teach through them.
With Chocolat, this parish priest described the purpose of his teaching. That in the movie, chocolate relates to communion. The communion of a tired dreary, almost boring people, and how that communion, through chocolate awakens them. He related the chocolate of the village to every gathering where we come together to share food with one another – whether it's a meal around a dinner table, or our religious meals in worship.
His reflections on his own parish community, as it related to the movie, pointed to the fact that he was still in the early stages of his relationship with them. The feeling in the room was that he was an idealist, backed by prayer, and he prayed that eventually the community would be awakened in spirit during his time with them.
My prayer for that dear parish priest, whose name I can't remember, is that he was able to awaken his parishioners to an appreciation for one another in the same way.
May we all be awakened with joy through our community of faith, and our heartfelt involvement with one another, as joyous as the villagers of the movie who have tasted chocolate for the first time.
We work, live and play side by side
Yet we don't see each other.
We live in the same house,
the same town, but we pass by as strangers.
Lift us out of the funk of ourselves
into the ability to share, to dine,
to build a life of love and laughter.
Together - with You.